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Mrs Brown’s Boys star rejected Russia TV deal after being told to edit out gay character

Nick Duffy December 18, 2017

(Alan Peebles)

Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll has revealed that he rejected a Russian TV deal – after he was told the gay character would be edited out.

O’Carroll, who created the Mrs Brown franchise and plays the lead character, made the revelation in an interview with RTE.

The actor was discussing the show’s beloved gay character Rory when he opened up about a dispute over international licensing.

He said: “They didn’t want any gay [content], in Russia in particular.

“It would have been a nice little deal.

“It’s a big country and so the fee you’d charge for the licensing is audience-related, so it’s a big audience and it would have been a nice fee.

“But [they said] no gay, absolutely no gay. So I said no gay, no show. And that was it.”

Opening up about other countries that have been difficult about the character, he added: “Romania threatened [to cut the gay character out], but then went ahead with it.

“What they’ve done is, the Rory character is the Rory character and he’s still gay, but they never mention that he’s gay. But it’s still Rory.”

He added: “The comedian that does Mrs Brown in Romania, he doesn’t even bother trying to put on a voice!”

Mrs Brown’s Boys star Rory Cowan was dramatically replaced on the show earlier tihs year after more than two decades, confessing to being unhappy with his role.

Cowan has appeared in the stage and TV comedy series as Rory Brown – the third son of Agnes Brown (Brendan O’Carroll).

Both the character and actor are openly gay.

In an announcement that stunned fans, this summer Cowan revealed he would be leaving.

He explained to the Irish Daily Mail: “I hadn’t been happy working for the Mrs Brown’s Boys company for the last 18 months to two years.

“I feel that 26 years is enough so I decided it was time to go. I told Brendan on June 16 about my decision to leave.

“That’s when I handed in my notice.”

Cowan, who had been touring the world as part of the Mrs Brown’s Boys live show, said: “I was supposed to leave at the end of that week, but Brendan said that would be impossible and asked if I’d stay on until the end of the London O2 gigs. So I agreed to that.”

He added: “I’m not going into details about why I was unhappy,”

“I did the final show [in London], packed my stuff into a small Waitrose plastic bag and just left the venue.”

O’Carroll said his quitting was “like Ronaldo leaving United”.

“To all of us it feels like Ronaldo ­leaving Man Utd. But Ronaldo went on to amazing success which I know Rory will too,” he told The Irish Sun.“I can’t even quantify the ­contribution Rory has made to our success and the wellbeing of me and my family, not just on screen or stage but way before that as a friend and a driving force in getting us here.”

O’Carroll added: “He’s a legend.”

The show has since announced that Agnes Brown’s hairdresser son Rory will be portrayed by the man who originally played the role.

Pat “Pepsi” Shields portrayed the character in its early days and will be turning to the role.

The Irish star said in a statement: “For the four remaining venues in November and December the role will be played by Pat “Pepsi” Shields, who played Rory before Rory (Cowan) made it his own.

“Following plastic surgery the new Rory will be unveiled on Christmas day in the Christmas special.”

More: BBC, Gay, LGBT, Mrs Brown's Boys, show, Television

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